Piston Slap: When to Step Away From the Drawing Board?
TTAC Commentator Arthur Dailey writes (and edited to remove confusion):
Opening my 2011 Hyundai Sonata’s door this morning after a beautiful overnight snowfall (Yes, it takes that long to answer Piston Slap questions – SM), I once again was confronted with a driver’s seat and inside door panel, covered in snow.
Those living in the snow belt will often park their car at the rink, library, ski hill, mall, at work etc. and return to find it covered in snow. You don’t bring your scraper with you in these situations. And even if you use your glove/arm/hand to clear some of the snow, when you open your door, the residue falls. Onto your power window/mirror/door lock mechanisms. And often onto the seat. You get into your car and start it to warm it up and help clear the windshield. And that residue melts.
This is a re-occurring problem: happening in many other vehicles that I have recently rented/owned. With the sloped roofs now common on cars, snow regularly falls into the passenger compartment when you open the door. There used to be gutters/sills along the edges of car rooflines. In fact I believe that up until the 1960’s they might have been an optional extra, as they were often chromed. Later they were just an integrated part of the roof.
I can’t remember exactly when roofline gutters disappeared from cars, but I understand that this was probably due to aerodynamic issues. I also noticed that there are a number of aftermarket options now available, sometimes referred to as ‘rain guards’.
However why can’t auto designers develop a roofline that prevents snow from dropping onto the car seats whenever the door is opened?
You’ve opened a lot of doors (sorry) with your query!
- Rain guards only work when doors are closed, therefore I see no product addressing your concern. Best and Brightest: a little help?
- Sloped roofs are usually better for aerodynamics, but the curvature might also improve safety: metallurgy and finite element analysis aside, a curved roof can channel energy better than a boxier one.
- You must remove snow before opening the door. Not only does it solve your problem, it’s the law in certain states/provinces.
It’s not just the roof, you’re clearing the snow from the hood and trunk too. All horizontal surfaces, Son!
If your state lacks such a rule, perhaps we need YouTube-guilt you to drive the point home.
Sure, your query coulda been about entering a vehicle to not drive it, but I’m not gonna assume that.
And this isn’t a case of car designers going back to the drawing board, it’s about stepping away from it. Far, far away.
[Image: Shutterstock/Paul Vasarhelyi]
Send your queries to email@example.com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry…but be realistic, and use your make/model specific forums instead of TTAC for more timely advice.
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